Year after year, my teammate and I look forward to reading Pop's Bridge by Eve Bunting to our classes. You can't go wrong with an Eve Bunting story. She tells of the excitement (and sometimes fear) of two boys living in San Francisco watching their fathers work on the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. One father is a "skywalker" and the other is a painter. Both fathers are equally important to the success of the bridge's construction. Upon completion of the story, the kids can't wait to paint their own Golden Gate Bridges!
Walking a bridge is one of my favorite things to do on any trip. Two years ago, our family was able to put the check mark on the bucket list for the Golden Gate Bridge. We had seen it several years earlier on a previous trip, but this was the year for the walk. Public transportation makes getting to the visitors center and entrance to the bridge very accessible. We visited in July, and the iconic International Orange columns were shrouded in the regular fog of the bay area. The details of the bridge were the most captivating to me followed by the view (although limited) of the city behind us. Fort Point lies directly below at the SF entrance. When the bridge opened in May of 1937, its 4,200 foot suspension span was the longest in the world. Today, it is the ninth longest suspension bridge. The bridge is an American icon and year after year my students love learning about it.
As I have written before, I grew up listening to country music with my dad as a square dance caller. A little over a year ago, I came across a copy of the book "Coat of Many Colors" by Dolly Parton. At the same time, I acquired a copy of "Good Night Tennessee," part of the Good Night Our World series. As these two books came into my library, I started reading more and then listening to the many songs written by Dolly over her amazing career.
As an adult, I listened to the lyrics with an entire new perspective. Having gone through immense training on primary sources, her lyrics are such a storytelling gem. I also came across her DVD from her live concert in London from 2008. This clip below doesn't do her story justice (even though I can listen to the song over and over). Dolly's lead in story speaks about the love she felt in her family despite the fact that the roof leaked, there could be a lack of food, her father worked endless hours and her mother was busy raising 12 children.
What makes me even more appreciative of her is her dedication to early childhood education. Years ago, she started the Imagination Library to supply children with books from birth to age 5 so that they are ready for Kindergarten. Her father never had the opportunity to learn how to read and she is very proud that her father lived to see her start the Imagination Library. Kids fondly call her the "book lady."
I love reading the "Coat of Many Colors" to my students. We spend time reading the book and then writing about their own small moments. Today we celebrated her birthday as we learned about Tennessee.
Happy birthday to an amazing woman and great role model!
As an early childhood/primary educator my entire professional career, the fact that I share the EXACT same birthday with such an American classic as Sesame Street makes me rather happy. Today, Sesame Street and I are celebrating our 45th birthdays. It is rare to have a show that we watched growing up as a child still have such influence several decades later on our own children (although my children are grown). As a child, I can remember reading the book "The Monster At The End Of This Book" over and over and over. Needless to say, when I came across a copy of the book several years ago, I felt the need to replace my long lost childhood copy!
Currently, in my own classroom, we are learning about the American Revolution and discussing the qualities of a leader as we address civics standards. I love showing vintage Sesame Street clips about the Revolution. With the clips being available on Youtube, I have the ability to stop and engage the kids in a discussion about what what might be fact or fiction. For example, did Grover really show up wanting to throw a surprise party for the Hessians or did George Washington have a different kind of surprise in mind? As we are discussing the attributes of a leader, how did George Washington problem solve all of the passengers being on either one end or the other end of the boat when they were not listening to directions? I love adding this to a lesson to engage the students and get them to think!
As an adult, if you haven't spent some time watching a clip or two, I encourage you to do so. Sesame Street has influenced so many of us at one point and time in our life and for this I am thankful.
AND...since it is a Monday, I think I will close with a very current SS including another one of my new favorites...Kid President. Happy Monday and Happy Birthday to Sesame Street!
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt is by far my favorite president! When I think about it, I believe that he seemed larger than life and dabbled in so many areas of interest. He is also a fascinating topic for kids to study. I am currently hosting an after school book club for second graders and we are using "Who Was Theodore Roosevelt?" as our text. The students have been enjoying sharing their own collections after learning about young TR's natural history collection.
Oddly, they were not very amused with me after I broke their hieroglyphic pots during our study of Egypt (after learning about Teddy's family trip there). We learned about the job of an archeologist by watching a Scholastic video by archeologist Dr. Ruben Mendoza and then headed off to the sandbox to dig up their broken pots. Much to their chagrin, their pots are still not completely assembled!
Despite their frustration over their pots, we are having a grand time learning about Teddy and his travels as a young boy. I am looking forward to our time as we focus on the relationship that Teddy had with conservationist John Muir and am planning a school wide conservation effort in conjunction with our student council.
If you don't know much about TR yourself, I highly encourage you to take the time to learn. He truly was an amazing man and one of great inspiration for all!
If you have never read any of Tomie's books, GO GET SOME! Not only are his autobiographical books amazing, but his folktales and other books including Strega Nona, are not to be missed!